What’s Your Story?
We all have one. There’s a reason we are all striving for something. We get up each morning, go to work, and put our effort in for the day. We work in order to provide for our families and because God calls us to.
“Idle hands make one poor, but diligent hands bring riches.” Proverbs 10:4. We may laugh at this, as most of us wouldn’t say that we’re rich. But in light of the rest of the world, we really are. The fact that we have the health and ability enough to be able to work is a gift, and one we should manage that responsibly.
But being that we have to work, many of us need to find things to keep us motivated in it. It may be within your job itself. Perhaps you’re motivated to do well in order to get a raise or to climb higher in the company.
Maybe you’re striving at work for something that you want at home. You might want to pay off your debts. You could want to save for your child’s education. Or you want to save for a dream vacation, when we can travel again.
I’ve found that the more goals I have, the harder I want to work. The more I want to achieve. Then, surprisingly, I begin to dream more. I see the success of my savings begin to pay off. I also start to see the value of what I do in my job and who I’m becoming because of it. It starts a cycle of healthy personal development. Not that I’m in competition with anyone, but motivation and competition within myself.
It’s even more exciting when you can get your family involved. If there’s a goal you’re working towards, it’s important to let your family know about it. It’s even more important to get them involved. If you’re married, it’s a great way to connect with your spouse and work towards something together. It helps to build communication and accountability within your marriage. It allows you to dream together too. Then suddenly, life seems to have a lot more potential and excitement regardless of what season you’re in.
If you’re single, this is a great way to connect with relatives and friends. Your goals and accountability are just as important. Find a couple good friends or relatives to cheer you on. Explain to them what you are working towards. Get creative in how you want to achieve it, and share your “wins” with them.
If you have children, it is crucial that they get involved too. By exposing them to what you’re trying to achieve, it will teach them the principles of good financial practices. It’ll help them understand delayed gratification, as well as the being able to celebrate at various points throughout the process. If they’re interested, you can have them contribute too. Have them do chores around the house. If they’re little, give them a “commission” for helping. Then allow them to contribute some of those funds towards it. It’ll be a great win for everyone then when you reach your goal.
It’s also important to celebrate at various checkpoints throughout your journey. Set milestones that you feel will be a win for you, then plan on how you’re going to celebrate. When Michael and I reached $50,000 left on our mortgage, we rented an Air BnB for the night and went out for dinner to the Keg. I realize that is a big celebration. Part of us wanted to save the money and throw more of it on the mortgage. But since it’s a long wait to fully pay it off, we felt the need to celebrate well for that milestone. We’re quickly approaching our next milestone of $25,000 left owing. We’ve joked that our celebration will be getting ice cream or some sort of treat out. We’re so close that we don’t want to spend a lot on celebrating, but we do want to acknowledge it and do something special!
So, I ask you today. What is your story? What financial goals are you working towards? Is it short-term or long-term? Do you have both? Would you be willing to share with us? What are some things you’re doing to celebrate the milestones?
If you haven’t really thought about setting financial goals, now’s a great time to start. What’s on your heart? What do you enjoy doing? Perhaps you want to start your own business debt free? Or buy your first house? Or pay for your kids’ education? Or back-pack across Europe? Or go on a mission’s trip? There are endless options when it comes to money. Pray about it and see if there’s something the Lord wants you to work towards right now. I’d be happy to help you get started and cheer you on along the way.